Grants/Sponsorships Available
Environmental and Engineering Geology Division (EEGD)
Include Codes
B = Breakfast
L = Lunch
D = Dinner
ON = Overnight Lodging
R = Refreshments

Scientific Field Trips

something for everyone

Highlighting the Holocene to the Precambrian through beautiful Carolina coasts, piedmont old growth swamps and floodplains, gorgeous Blue Ridge highlands, and more. Visit classic Triassic basin, Appalachian, or passive margin geology; dig up the latest on east coast fossils; investigate evidence of 19th-, 20th- and 21st-century seismicity; learn how geology and vineyards intertwine; and explore potential natural gas reservoirs. Geoscientists in the southeast have employed everything from old-fashioned compasses and shovels to state-of-the-art cosmogenic isotope and thermochronology techniques to collect new data for this very old part of the continent. Join us before and after the meeting for one of these exciting geo-adventures.

This year’s field-trip chairs are Missy Eppes, and Jerry Bartholomew. Please feel free to contact them or Beth Engle, GSA’s field trip coordinator, for more information. If you have questions about a particular trip, please contact the trip leaders directly.

All trips begin and end in Charlotte at the Charlotte Convention Center unless otherwise indicated.

  • Pre-Meeting
  • During Meeting
  • Post-Meeting
  • Self-Guided Tours

401. Geology and Landform Development of the Georgia Coastal Plain–Cumberland Island to the Okefenokee Swamp.
Wed.–Sat., 31 Oct.–3 Nov. — Canceled.
 

402. Igneous Activity, Metamorphism, and Deformation in the Mount Rogers Area, SW Virginia and NW North Carolina: A Geologic Record of Precambrian Tectonic Evolution of the Southern Blue Ridge Province.
Thurs.–Sat., 1–3 Nov. US$344 (B, L, D, R, 2ON).
Leaders: Richard Tollo, George Washington Univ.; and J.N. Aleinikoff.

• Trip Description

The Mount Rogers area of southwest Virginia and northwest North Carolina contains a unique assemblage of lithologically diverse Mesoproterozoic basement and late Neoproterozoic cover rocks that collectively record nearly 600 m.y. of tectonic history. The ca. 1.3 to 1.0 Ga basement is composed of both meta-igneous and meta-sedimentary lithologies and includes the oldest intact crust in the southern Appalachians. Geochronologic studies indicate a Mesoproterozoic history involving multiple episodes of magmatism, moderate- to high-grade metamorphism, and both regional uplift and sedimentation associated with construction of the Grenville orogen. Cover rocks, which record evidence of late Precambrian extension, include compositionally bimodal basalt-rhyolite sequences and associated terrestrial sedimentary deposits. Results of new petrologic and geochronologic studies indicate that the ca. 750 Ma, dominantly felsic volcanism was produced during a very brief interval and involved progressive emptying of one or more petrologically evolved, A-type magma reservoirs, culminating in high-energy, ash-flow eruptions. This field trip will present the results of detailed mapping and both petrologic and geochronologic studies that have resulted in an integrated model for the Precambrian tectonic evolution of this portion of the Blue Ridge province. The data will be used to offer evidence for regional correlation of events and processes to other areas of Mesoproterozoic geology in eastern North America.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Richard P. Tollo earned a Ph.D. at the Univ. of Massachusetts in 1983 Employment: Univ. of North Carolina–Wilmington, 1982-1983, George Washington Univ. 1983–present. Position: Professor of Geology. Research interests: Igneous and metamorphic petrology and geochemistry, Precambrian geology, volcanology. Recent publications: Co-editor on 2010 GSA Memoir 206: From Rodinia to Pangea: The Lithotectonic Record of the Appalachian Region; co-editor on 2004 GSA Memoir 197: Proterozoic tectonic evolution of the Grenville orogen in North America. Tollo is also an author or co-author on multiple journal papers, including the 2009 Geologic Map of the Shenandoah National Park Region, Virginia: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Map, 1:100,000-scale map and pamphlet; and a chapter in the 2004 Geology of the National Capital Region–Field Trip Guidebook (USGS Circular 1264).

Primary Leader Experience: Both leaders have worked and published extensively for nearly 30 years on topics located throughout the Appalachians. Tollo’s expertise includes field mapping and both petrologic and geochemical studies of igneous and metamorphic rocks, with particular focus on systems of Precambrian age. He has worked throughout the Blue Ridge province of Virginia and NW North Carolina, and has been involved in collaborative research with the USGS for nearly three decades. Tollo and Aleinikoff have collaborated on multiple projects including the Robertson River batholith in northern Virginia, basement rocks of the northern Shenandoah massif in northern Virginia, the Killingworth dome in Connecticut, and the Mount Rogers area of SW Virginia. They have published numerous papers in peer-refereed journals and presented many abstracts on Blue Ridge-related topics. In addition, Tollo served as the lead editor of two recent GSA Memoirs concerned with the geology of the Grenville and Appalachian orogens. Tollo and Aleinikoff led a successful three-day field trip through the Blue Ridge of northern Virginia in association with the joint meeting of GSA’s Southeastern and Northeastern Sections in 2004.

403. The Neoacadian Orogenic Core of the Southern Appalachians: A Geo-Traverse through the Migmatitic Inner Piedmont From the Brushy Mountains to Lincolnton, North Carolina.
Thu.–Sat., 1–3 Nov. US$245 (B, L, R, 2ON).
Cosponsors: GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division; USGS National Cooperative Geologic Mapping Program, EDMAP component.
Leaders: Arthur J. Merschat, USGS; Robert D. Hatcher, Heather E. Byars, and William Gilliam

• Trip Description

This two-day field trip through the North Carolina Piedmont, located a few hours northwest of Charlotte, highlights some of the most significant recent developments in southern Appalachian geology: recognition of the sillimanite grade, mixed Laurentian and peri-Gondwanan affinity, Siluro-Devonian metasedimentary Cat Square terrane in the Inner Piedmont (IP). Siluro-Devonian rocks in the interior southern Appalachians have fundamental implications. Consistent with field observations and geochronology, we have hypothesized that the Carolina superterrane collided obliquely with Laurentia during the Devonian near the Pennsylvanian embayment, overrode the Cat Square terrane and Laurentian margin, and squeezed the IP out to the west and southwest, buttressing against the Brevard fault zone. The objective of this trip is to examine the key attributes of the Cat Square terrane in a NW-to-SE traverse across the North Carolina Inner Piedmont. We will compare Tugaloo and Cat Square terrane lithostratigraphy, examine mylonites of the Brindle Creek fault, Devonian-Mississippian plutonism and metamorphism in the Inner Piedmont, and the Newton window. Day 1 will begin near Lenoir in the western Inner Piedmont to examine Tugaloo terrane rocks, followed by a traverse across the Brindle Creek fault, and then into the core of the Cat Square terrane to examine relationships between metamorphism, migmatites, and granitoids. Day 2 will focus on the eastern boundary of the Cat Square terrane, where the Brindle Creek fault frames the Newton window exposing the Tugaloo terrane. Exposures will include the Brindle Creek fault, the Vale charnockite xenolith in Walker Top Granite, and rocks inside the Newton window.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Arthur J. Merschat’s research for his master’s and Ph.D. focused on southern Appalachian tectonics with an emphasis on the Inner Piedmont. Merschat has co-authored four papers and numerous abstracts focusing on the structure, metamorphism, and tectonics of the Inner Piedmont. He conducted detailed geologic mapping and studied the structure and metamorphism of the Inner Piedmont in the Brushy Mountains east of Lenoir, North Carolina, for his M.S. research.

Primary Leader Experience: Arthur J. Merschat was a co-leader of the 2002 Carolina GSA field trip, the 2008 Southeastern GSA field trip, both of which examined parts of the North Carolina Inner Piedmont, and the 2012 Southeastern GSA field trip through the central and eastern Blue Ridge. He was also a co-leader of the 2005 Carolina Geological Society field trip through the North Carolina Blue Ridge.

404. The New Madrid Seismic Zone.
Fri., 2 Nov. — Canceled.
 

405. Neoproterozoic to Mesozoic Petrologic and Ductile-Brittle Structural Relationships along the Alleghanian Nutbush Creek Fault Zone and Deep River Triassic Basin in North Carolina.
Fri.–Sat., 2–3 Nov. US$185 (B, L, D, R, 1ON).
Cosponsors: North Carolina Geological Survey; Carolina Geological Society.
Leaders: David E. Blake, Univ. of North Carolina–Wilmington; Edward F. Stoddard, Philip J. Bradley, and Timothy W. Clark.

• Trip Description

The two-day field trip begins and ends in Charlotte, and includes a regional overview of central and eastern North Carolina geology while traveling The trip focuses on a strike-parallel traverse of scale-variable petrologic and ductile-brittle strain relationships along the northern portions of the Pennsylvanian-Permian Nutbush Creek dextral fault zone and the Triassic Deep River rift basin. Because of their proximity to Kerr Lake State Reservoir and the downcutting effects of the Tar and Neuse Rivers, northeastern Piedmont province outcrops offer mid-to-upper-crustal views of Late Proterozoic to Jurassic crystalline and sedimentary rocks, as well as metamorphism and structures associated with the transition from Paleozoic transpressional orogenesis to Mesozoic extensional rifting of eastern North America during the amalgamation and breakup of Pangea. We will examine (1) the complex petrologic transition from Late Proterozoic–Cambrian infrastructural to suprastructural lithotectonic terranes that define the accreted peri-Gondwanan Carolina Zone island-arc system, now exposed as amphibolite facies layered gneiss and kyanite-sillimanite zone pelitic schist, and greenschist facies mylonitic and phyllonitic metagranitoids and their undeformed equivalents; (2) superposed effects of Pennsylvanian, Alleghanian orogeny ductile-brittle strain on this terrane transition, including the interplay between dextral transpression and generation of syn- to post-kinematic granitic plutons; and (3) effects of Late Permian to Late Triassic ductile-brittle extensional overprint, uplift, rift sedimentation, and Jurassic diabase magmatism. This field trip honors the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Carolina Geological Society and its contribution to our understanding of southern Appalachian geology.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: David E. (Dave) Blake earned his B.S. in geology at UNC-Charlotte in 1982; his M.S. at NCSU in 1986), and a Ph.D. at Washington State Univ. in 1991. He has taught at UNC-Wilmington for 22 years, and mapped for the North Carolina Geological Survey (NCGS) in the eastern Piedmont for 21 years. Blake has led field trips for the Carolina Geological Society (1994) and GSA national (2009) and sectional (2001, 2011) meetings.

Primary Leader Experience: Combined, the four leaders have almost 100 years of mapping experience in the Piedmont for the North Carolina Geological Survey and individual academic research (Blake, 25+; Stoddard, 35+; Bradley, 15+; Clark, 15+).

406. Hydrology field research in the Congaree River Floodplain: Engaged learning about research, resource management, and education at Congaree National Park.
Fri.–Sat., 2–3 Nov. US$218 (B, L, D, R, 1ON).
Cosponsors: Old-Growth Bottomland Forest Research and Education Center at Congaree National Park; College of Charleston.
Leaders: David C. Shelley, Congaree National Park; Timothy J. Callahan.

• Trip Description

Congaree National Park protects more than 26,000 acres of forested floodplains along the Congaree and Wateree Rivers in central South Carolina. This system is defined by a delicate interplay of groundwater flow, evapotranspiration, perennial tributaries, ephemeral “guts,” and periodic floods. Understanding this hydrology is critical for informing and inspiring stewardship by park managers and visitors alike. This trip, which is intended for students, educators, and academics, will address research results and management issues and engage participants in ongoing field research and education programs. This will include the opportunity to learn and practice field hydrology skills and offer feedback on education programs. The trip will cover four distinct areas: (1) a boardwalk hike will focus on ox-bow lakes as well as relationships between flooding, geomorphology, and forest ecology; (2) a paddle on Cedar Creek, an intra-coastal plain blackwater tributary, will frame discussions of water quality, stage measurements, and discharge measurements; (3) a visit to the Congaree River, a brown water system draining 14,000 square miles, will address larger-scale systems and management issues; and (4) a hike along the Congaree Observation Well Network (COWN), which was designed as a hybrid research/education opportunity and installed with the help of citizen scientists and university students, will provide a discussion of floodplain groundwater and observation of well research techniques.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: David Shelley has studied geologic mapping, sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoecology, geomorphology, and tectonics across the United States as well as in Mexico, Ireland, the Bahamas, and Papua New Guinea. As education coordinator, Shelley has designed and implemented the Congaree Observation Well Network and Congaree Surface Water Observation Network. He has also developed, coordinated, and run hundreds of programs, including technical earth science/ecology field trips, citizen science programs, K–12 interpretation/education, and climate change communication, in addition to producing brochures and temporary exhibits. Shelley has an active interest in environmental history and climate change communication.

Primary Leader Experience: David C. Shelley has a B.S. in geology from Furman Univ., an M.S. in geology from New Mexico State Univ. (thesis: “Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and petrology of the Paleocene upper sandstone member of the Potrerillos Formation, La Popa Basin, Mexico”), and a Ph.D. in geology from the Univ. of South Carolina (dissertation: “Geology, Geomorphology, and Tectonics of the Congaree River Valley, South Carolina”). Shelley has served as the education coordinator at the Old-Growth Bottomland Forest Research and Education Center since 2006.

407. Traversing Suspect Terranes in the Central Virginia Piedmont: From Proterozoic Anorthosites to Modern Earthquakes.
Fri.–Sat., 2–3 Nov. US$211 (B, L, R, 1ON).
Leaders: Christopher Bailey, College of William and Mary; Brent E. Owens.

• Trip Description

Participants will examine a suite of igneous and metamorphic rocks in the Virginia Piedmont. These rocks include Paleozoic, Neoproterozoic, and Mesoproterozoic rocks of the Goochland terrane; Early Paleozoic rocks of the Chopawamsic arc terrane; Mid-Paleozoic successor basin deposits; and Taconic and Alleghanian plutons. The origin and significance of these Appalachian terranes remains a source of debate. The trip will also feature visits to the Willis Mountain kyanite mine (one of only a few kyanite mines in the world) and the Arvonia slate quarry (a source of high-quality slate for more than 200 years). Participants will traverse the epicentral region of the moderate, but widely felt, 2011 Virginia earthquake and discuss neotectonics in the central Virginia Seismic Zone. Overnight accommodations will be in Richmond. Virginia.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Christopher Bailey is a Professor of Geology and Department Chair at the College of William & Mary. He is a structural geologist and has studied the Appalachians, Basin & Range, Colorado Plateau, and southern Rockies.

Primary Leader Experience: Bailey has run many professional trips. These include a 2002 GSA Field Forum, the 1996, 2002, 2004, and 2009 Virginia Geological Field Conferences, as well as GSA trips at both regional and national meetings.

408. The Early-Middle Mississippian Borden-Grainger–Fort Payne Delta/Basin Complex: Field Evidence for Delta Sedimentation, Basin Starvation, Mud-Mound Genesis, and Tectonism during the Neoacadian Orogeny.
Fri.–Sun., 2–4 Nov. — Canceled.
 

409. Disequilibrium in Landscape Evolution of the Southern Appalachian Mountains.
Sat., 3 Nov . US$96 (L, R).
Cosponsors: GSA Structural Geology and Tectonics Division; GSA Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division.
Leaders: James A. Spotila, Virginia Tech; Philip S. Prince, Michelle Fame .

• Trip Description

Because the Appalachian Mountains have not experienced major mountain building since the Paleozoic, we expect them to be expressed as a slowly denuding, isostatically controlled landscape that is highly adjusted to local boundary conditions. In many locations in the southern Appalachians, however, there are striking examples of geomorphic disequilibrium. This field trip will examine transient landscape disequilibrium and relief production resulting from stream capture along the Eastern Continental Divide (Blue Ridge Escarpment) and late Cenozoic incision and rejuvenation within the New River basin. Participants will be exposed to a range of landforms along a transect from the Inner Piedmont to the Blue Ridge–Valley and Ridge transition, including recently captured fluvial systems rich in non-lithologically controlled knickzones, beheaded channels, gorges, and hanging tributaries. We will also review abundant geological evidence for landscape disequilibrium, including remnant gravels stranded on divides, incised stream terraces and relict surfaces, and exhumation patterns revealed by low-temperature thermochronometry. These observations have led to a conceptual model in which the long-preserved Blue Ridge upland is being increasingly dissected on the west as the New River punches through resistant lithologies in the Allegheny Plateau and Valley and Ridge provinces, while being eaten away on the east by headward retreat and decay of a previously formed asymmetric divide. This model suggests an important role for autocyclic drainage capture and preexisting topography in generating the transient landscape, irrespective of tectonic or climatic drivers.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Associate professor of geoscience, Virginia Tech; Ph.D. 1998 Caltech (active tectonics and geomorphology).

Primary Leader Experience: James Spotila’s research group has been conducting field studies of Appalachian geomorphology for over a decade, leading to numerous publications on the Blue Ridge escarpment, landscape disequilibrium, New River incision history, and mountain erosional processes.

410. Historic Mill Ponds & Piedmont Stream Water Quality: Making the Connection near Raleigh, North Carolina.
Sat., 3 Nov. US$102 (L, R).
Cosponsors: GSA Quaternary Geology & Geomorphology Division; GSA Environmental and Engineering Geology Division; GSA Archaeological Geology Division.
Leaders: Karl W. Wegmann, North Carolina State Univ.; Robert Lewis, Sean Gallen.
This trip begins in Raleigh, North Carolina, and ends in Charlotte, North Carolina.

• Trip Description

This field trip will highlight new research into the history of land-use change and its impact on modern stream form, process, and water quality in the Piedmont of North Carolina. Participants will explore the remains of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century water-powered milling operations, their dams, and excellent exposures of both pre-European valley bottom and impounded legacy sediments observable in William B. Umstead State Park, Wake County (Raleigh), North Carolina. Short walks on State Park trails allow access to stream bank exposures where several thousand years of late Holocene Piedmont valley bottom geomorphic history is exposed. Field and laboratory data, including natural and anthropogenic landforms, stratigraphy, magnetic susceptibility, radiocarbon geochronology, stable isotope geochemistry, stream bank erosion rates, and suspended sediment flux will be presented in front of the outcrops from which they were collected in support of the hypotheses that (1) historic land-use activities are imp acting modern water quality, and (2) millpond sedimentary deposits represent a potential new proxy environment for reconstructing paleoenvironmental conditions along the North Carolina Piedmont prior to the period of modern climate data collection. Participants are encouraged to examine stream bank exposures in detail and challenge the conclusions drawn from field and laboratory results to date. Arriving in Raleigh is easy: by plane via Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU), train (Amtrak), or bus (Greyhound). Raleigh is a 3-hour drive (165 miles) by interstate highway from Charlotte.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Karl William Wegmann earned a Ph.D. in Earth and Environmental Science in 2008 from Lehigh Univ., an M.S. in Earth and Planetary Sciences in 1999 from the Univ. of New Mexico, and a B.A. in Geology in 1996 from Whitman College. Professional Experience: Assistant Professor, July 2008–present, Dept. of Marine, Earth, & Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State Univ.–Raleigh; Geologist 3/Natural Resource Scientist 3, Jan.–Aug. 2004; Geologist 2, July 1999–Dec. 2003.

Primary Leader Experience: Karl Wegmann has been a co-leader of field trips for the 2002 and 2003 GSA meetings and the 2004 Annual Association of State Geologists meeting, as well as a leader or co-leader for numerous informal geology field reviews and trips while working for the Washington State Division of Geology and Earth Resources (1999–2004) and for undergraduate and graduate courses at North Carolina State Univ. (2008 to present). Wegmann began field and laboratory work on the North Carolina Piedmont legacy sediment problem in 2009, and co-authored several field trip guides, including a 2002 guide to accompany the 98th annual meeting of the GSA Cordilleran Section; a 2003, field guide paper for GSA Field Guide 4; and a 2004, field trip for the Washington Division of Geology and Earth Resources.

411. Kirk Bryan Field Trip: Piedmont Potpourris: New Perspectives on An Old Landscape (and Some of its Younger Parts).
Wed., 7 Nov. (returns to the convention center at 7 p.m.) US$81 (L, R).
Cosponsor: GSA Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology Division.
Leaders: M.C. Eppes, Univ. of North Carolina–Charlotte, Anne J. Jefferson, Karl Wegmann, Paul R. Bierman, Ryan McKeon.

• Trip Description

We will explore the Cenozoic to Holocene geology and geomorphology of the Piedmont of the Carolinas at a variety of spatial scales ranging from those of headwater streams to that of the Blue Ridge Escarpment. Specifically, we will present new research related to (1) piedmont headwater stream and gully evolution and hydrology (Anne Jefferson); (2) the impact of mill dams and their legacy sediments on small, piedmont stream floodplain dynamics (Karl Wegmann); (3) basin-wide erosion rates derived from some of the classic Trimble land-use study sites and long-term erosion of the southern Appalachians (Paul Bierman); (4) soil chronology & sedimentology of Quaternary terraces along the Catawba River (Missy Eppes); and (5) the long-term landscape evolution of the piedmont and Blue Ridge Escarpment in the context of new thermochronologic data from an adjacent transect (Ryan McKeon). Stops will entail walking on dirt roads and trails, including a steep, 0.8 mile hike to the top of Crowders Mountain, a local monadnock. Due to the hike, we will be returning to the convention center around 7 p.m.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: This 2012 Kirk Bryan Field Trip is being run by Martha Cary (Missy) Eppes, associate professor of Earth Sciences at UNC–Charlotte. Eppes is a soil geomorphologist with interests ranging from Holocene paleoclimate to physical weathering processes. She is joined by Anne Jefferson of Kent State, watershed hydrology and geomorphology; Karl W. Wegmann, North Carolina State Univ.; Quaternary geomorphology & geochronology; Paul Bierman, Univ. of Vermont, geomorphology and cosmogenic isotopes; and Ryan E. McKeon, a Ph.D. student at Lehigh Univ., Low-temperature thermochronology, tectonic geomorphology.

Primary Leader Experience: Soil geomorphology and physical weathering; watershed hydrology and geomorphology; Quaternary geomorphology & geochronology; geomorphology and cosmogenic isotopes; low-temperature thermochronology, tectonic geomorphology.

412. Significance of the Geology of the Talladega Belt to Southern Appalachian Tectonics.
Wed.–Fri., 7–9 Nov. — Canceled.
 

413. Of Mushwads and Mayhem: Disharmonically Deformed Gas Shale in the Southern Appalachian Thrust Belt.
Wed.–Fri., 7–9 Nov. — Canceled.
 

414. Geology, Geography and Environment of Viticulture in the Upper Hiwassee River Basin, Southwestern North Carolina and Northern Georgia—Terroir of An Emerging American Wine-Producing Area.
Wed.–Fri., 7–9 Nov. — Canceled.
 

415. The Fractured Foundation of the Post-Orogenic (Mesozoic-Cenozoic) Southern Appalachian Piedmont and Coastal Plain in Georgia and South Carolina.
Wed.–Fri., 7–9 Nov. — Canceled.

416. Late Quaternary Geology and Geomorphology of Floodplain Deposits in Congaree National Park.
Thurs.–Fri., 8–9 Nov. US$222 (B, L, D, R, 1ON).
Cosponsors: Old-Growth Bottomland Forest Research and Education Center, Congaree National Park; Winthrop Univ.; Center for Applied Isotope Studies at the Univ. of Georgia.
Leaders: David C. Shelley, Congaree National Park; Scott P. Werts, Douglas Dvoracek, William H. Armstrong.

• Trip Description

Congaree National Park encompasses a spectacularly-preserved, asymmetrical late Quaternary floodplain that today supports the largest and best-preserved example of old-growth bottomland forest remaining in the southeastern United States. This two-day field trip will visit several key geologic features in and around the park, with a focus on emerging research results, the importance of plants to floodplain geology, and comparisons of two distinct floodplain margins. Day one will begin at the steep southern valley bluffs, where the river has incised >60 m into Late Cretaceous to Eocene upper coastal plain deposits. A second stop at the modern Congaree River Channel will frame a discussion of emerging radiocarbon data being used to constrain long-term river migration and aggradation rates. A third stop will visit Quaternary scarps and terraces north of the floodplain. The first day will end at the low bluffs along the northern floodplain margin. Emerging light stable isotope data from organic-rich deposits in a Holocene groundwater rimswamp here are available to complement existing palynologic and petrographic data. Day two will begin with a paddle on Cedar Creek, a major floodplain tributary and conclude with a hike along a subtle but stratigraphically and ecologically distinct alluvial fan cut by an ox-bow lake.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: David Shelley has studied geologic mapping, sedimentology, stratigraphy, paleoecology, geomorphology, and tectonics across the United States as well as in Mexico, Ireland, the Bahamas, and Papua New Guinea. As education coordinator, Shelley has designed and implemented the Congaree Observation Well Network and Congaree Surface Water Observation Network. He has also developed, coordinated, and run hundreds of programs, including technical earth science/ecology field trips, citizen science programs, K–12 interpretation/education, and climate change communication, in addition to producing brochures and temporary exhibits. Shelley has an active interest in environmental history and climate change communication.

Primary Leader Experience: David C. Shelley has a B.S. in geology from Furman Univ., an M.S. in geology from New Mexico State Univ. (thesis: “Sedimentology, stratigraphy, and petrology of the Paleocene upper sandstone member of the Potrerillos Formation, La Popa Basin, Mexico”), and a Ph.D. in geology from the Univ. of South Carolina (dissertation: “Geology, Geomorphology, and Tectonics of the Congaree River Valley, South Carolina”). Shelley has served as the education coordinator at the Old-Growth Bottomland Forest Research and Education Center since 2006.

417. The Great 1886 Charleston Earthquake: Visible Damage from the Largest United States Earthquake of the 1800s.
Thurs.–Fri., 8–9 Nov. US$194 (L, R, 1ON).
Cosponsor: GSA Environmental and Engineering Geology Division.
Leaders: Erin K. Beutel, College of Charleston; Norman Levine, Steven C. Jaume, Pradeep Talwani.

• Trip Description

This field trip is an exciting opportunity to see well-preserved damage from the most damaging earthquake in North America in the 1800s—the 1886 Charleston Earthquake. The magnitude ~7.0 earthquake killed about 100 people, damaged 6,956 of the buildings in Charleston, and rang church bells as far away as Boston. Massive liquefaction was observed throughout the Lowcountry, particularly in the area known as Ten Mile Hill, now the Charleston International Airport. Since the 1886 earthquake, an average of 2–3 minor earthquakes are felt in the Summerville/Charleston area. These earthquakes appear to delineate a current zone of activity along a trio of connected faults. Liquefaction studies by Talwani et al. (2001) suggest a 400–500 year recurrence interval for major earthquakes, but the recurrence interval for smaller, earthquakes is unknown. Participants in the field trip will view damage at a variety of locations from Summerville to downtown Charleston. Discussions will focus on the engineering aspects of earthquakes, the geologic factors behind the Charleston earthquake, the possibility of recurrence, and damage estimates in the event of a similar or even smaller event based on HAZUS. Participants will be required to do moderate walking on level ground (2 hours), and the trip will return to Charlotte early in the afternoon on Friday, 9 Nov. The Environmental and Engineering Geology Division (EEGD) of GSA is sponsoring this trip and will reimburse their student member attendees US$100 and regular member attendees US$30. To join EEGD, contact GSA at . For reimbursement, contact Bill Schulz at .

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Erin Beutel is an Associate Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at the College of Charleston. She earned her B.A. in Geology from Macalester College in 1995 and her Ph.D. in Geological Sciences (Tectonophysics) from Northwestern Univ. in 2000. She joined the faculty at the College of Charleston after graduation from Northwestern Univ. Beutel is Director of the South Carolina Earthquake Education and Preparedness (SCEEP) program at the College of Charleston, which is co-sponsored by the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences and the state South Carolina Emergency Management Division. The SCEEP program is responsible for working with SCEMD to confirm earthquakes in the state of South Carolina, responding to media inquiries, conducting research on earthquake hazards in South Carolina, and working with the public on earthquake education. Beutel’s areas of research focus on stress in the lithosphere ranging from mid-ocean ridge processes to the break-up of Pangea to modern-day stress fields associated with continental rifting. Her areas of expertise include structural geology, geodynamics, and finite element modeling. One of her areas of interest with regard to the Charleston earthquake is the interaction of stress in the lithosphere with large-scale changes in density due to composition or temperature. She had been published in numerous national and international journals including Earth and Planetary Science Letters (EPSL) and a GSA Special Paper. She co-convened the NSF sponsored meeting “Rupturing Continental Lithosphere: Synthesis and New Perspectives” in Charleston in 2009 and has been an active participant in planning the new Eastern North America NSF Geoprisms focus areas. She is an active member of the several professional societies, including AGU, GSA, and the Seismological Society of America.

Primary Leader Experience: Erin Beutel is the Director of the South Carolina Earthquake Education and Preparedness program at the College of Charleston, has led numerous earthquake tours throughout the Charleston area, and was co-convener of the 2010 Margins Meeting in Charleston.

418. Geology of Ediacaran-Earliest Cambrian Rocks of the Western Carolina Terrane in South Carolina.
Thu.–Sat., 8–10 Nov. US$308 (B, L, R, 2ON).
Leaders: Allen J. Dennis, Univ. of South Carolina–Aiken; John W. Shervais, Dennis LaPoint.

• Trip Description

This 2.5-day trip will examine rocks between Kings Mountain, North Carolina, and Newberry, South Carolina, including (1) lithostratigraphic units that may be correlative with Snowball Earth deposits including the Gaffney marble and marble member of Dixon’s Branch, putative Snowball Earth cap carbonates, and epiclastic volcanic rocks (e.g., Crowders Mountain, Dixon’s Gap metaconglomerate member) that provide age constraints bounding them; (2) rocks on either side of the Alleghanian Central Piedmont shear zone (Wenlock-Ludlow Cat Square Basin paragneiss and Neoproterozoic metavolcanic and metaplutonic rocks); (3) metamorphosed ultramafic-mafic zoned intrusive complex and coeval volcanic rocks of the Charlotte terrane and evidence that the metamorphic fabric observed in the westernmost Carolina terrane occurred at the Cambrian-Ediacaran boundary; and (4) retrogressed eclogite and high-pressure granulites of the Silverstreet terrane that form the suture between the Charlotte and Carolina Slate terranes.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Allen Dennis has worked on the Edicaran through Carboniferous history of the Carolina terrane since 1984; many of his papers on the geology of this terrane have been published in GSA Bulletin, Geology, and GSA Special Papers. He has led many trips in Appalachian geology for regional, national, and international societies. Dennis has been the principal investigator of projects funded by U.S. Dept. of Energy and NSF-EAR (Petrology and Geochemistry) He has taught at the Univ. of South Carolina–Aiken since 1988. He was awarded the GSA Biggs Earth Science Teaching Award in 1994.

Primary Leader Experience: Allen Dennis led multi-day trips for the SEGSA Section in 1989 and 2007. He led portions of the International Basement Tectonics Association field trip in 2004 and organized trips for Carolina Geological Society in 1995 and 2000. Dennis has taught field camps in Wyoming, the Adirondacks, and the South Carolina Piedmont. He was a co-investigator on a NSF REU project, leading student mapping teams.

419. Stratigraphy, Paleontology, and Geological Resources of the Upper Triassic Newark Supergroup Basins, North Carolina and Southern Virginia.
Thurs.–Sat., 8–10 Nov. US$338 (B, L, D, R, 2ON).
Cosponsors: North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences and the Virginia Museum of Natural History.
Leaders: Andrew B. Heckert, Appalachian State Univ.; Kenneth B. Taylor, Vincent P. Schneider.

• Trip Description

Newark Supergroup basins in North Carolina and Virginia record the initial stages of the rifting of Pangea during the Triassic, are richly fossiliferous, and are regionally important sources of clay, aggregate, and, possibly, natural gas. This trip will visit new and classic localities in the Deep River (North Carolina) and Dan River (North Carolina–Virginia) basins to examine the stratigraphy, paleontology, and economic geology of these Upper Triassic rocks. The vertebrate assemblages collected from these basins are especially important, with recent discoveries resulting in many new species in addition to the first records of known taxa for the Newark Supergroup. The Deep River basin is historically significant for both its vertebrate paleontology and past coal production. Participants will visit quarries and natural outcrops in all three Deep River sub-basins (Wadesboro, Sanford, and Durham) to discuss regional stratigraphy, paleontology (especially of vertebrates), and economic uses of these strata. P lanned stops will include fossiliferous outcrops of the Pekin, Cumnock, and Sanford formations. The trip will then proceed north to the Dan River Basin, which straddles the Virginia–North Carolina line and includes the Solite quarry, a konservat Lagerstätte preserving thousands of arthropods (principally insects) as well as numerous complete skeletons of small vertebrates such as Tanytrachelos. Stops here and at other Dan River basin localities will investigate cycle stratigraphy, paleontology, and taphonomy. Visits to both the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences (Raleigh) and the Virginia Museum of Natural History (Martinsville) are part of the trip.

• Leader Info

Primary Leader E-mail:

Primary Leader Biography: Andy Heckert earned a B.S. in geology from Denison Univ. in central Ohio before migrating west for an M.S. and Ph.D. from the Univ. of New Mexico, where his theses dealt with the paleontology and stratigraphy of the Upper Triassic Chinle Group. He has collected vertebrates ranging in age from Devonian to Pleistocene, working primarily with the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, where he was geosciences collections manager (2002–2005). Since arriving at Appalachian State Univ. in 2005 he has partnered with Vince Schneider at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, among others, to investigate the vertebrate assemblages from many of the localities planned for this trip. As an associate professor at Appalachian, Heckert teaches a variety of courses in earth history and oversees the departmental teaching museum.

Primary Leader Experience: Andy Heckert is a vertebrate paleontologist and associate professor in the Department of Geology at Appalachian State Univ. Over the past 20 years, he has worked extensively in the Mesozoic of the American Southwest and, more recently, the Triassic of North Carolina and Virginia. He has helped lead three-day New Mexico Geological Society (NMGS) Fall Field Conferences across eastern New Mexico (2001) and the Zuni Mountains (2005) and contributed to numerous NMGS guidebooks, from 1994 to 2005 and participating in NMGS conferences in 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2002. He also runs a two-week field and museum “Triassic trip” course to the American Southwest for Appalachian every spring.

Building Stone Walking Tour.

Have a few extra minutes during the meeting?

walking tour

The buildings and infrastructure of "Uptown" Charlotte host a wide array of rocks that will pique the interest of even the most seasoned rock hound. We have prepared a field guide of building stones around the convention center. The guide is written so that both the novice and the expert can find something new to learn. Enjoy exploring amazing examples of stones from all over the world, many of which have unusual and even relatively rare geologic features.

The guide is also available as a Google Map that you can use on your smart phone.

Download the Building Stone Walking Tour Guide.   [ 24-pages, 2.6MB PDF ]

 

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